1. Policy and Activity of the National Government and
The High Pressure Gas Safety
Institute of Japan organized gTechnical Research Committee on Fuel Cell Systemh
( Chairman : Professor Kobayashi, Tokyo Institute of Technology ) and started
studies to verify safeties on hydrogen pressure vessel for FCV and hydrogen
station. The institute intends to investigate regulations in foreign countries
and conduct verification tests on hydrogen leakage and others for three years
and support to make illustrative standards which will be made by industrial
associations in the motor car and fuel industries.
( The Chemical Daily October 31, 2003 )
2. Development and the Application of SOFC
(1) Boeing Company
Boeing Co. in USA
started to study an introduction of SOFC as an internal power source for the
next generation passenger airplane 7E7. It is the reason to select a SOFC that
it does not need a pure hydrogen and the power generating efficiency is high.
They plan to adopt electrified air conditioning system for the 7E7, to improve
the economic efficiency remarkably, which can omit the air inlet duct and
others although high temperature air from engine has been used as heat for air
conditioning of cabin in case of conventional design. A battery and a small
generator utilizing surplus power of engine have been used as power sources in
the airplane so far, they intend to improve the efficiency and flexibility in
the engine design by adopting SOFC and aim at improvement of mileage as the
result. The person in charge of environmental strategy of the company said that
the above targets would be realized within several years after the first 7E7
will be in service in 2008.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 19, 2003 )
(2) National Institute for
Materials Science (NIMS)
group led by Mr. Mori, Senior Researcher, Eco-materials Research Center
announced that they developed an electrolyte of SOFC which showed the high
performance at low temperatures range from 500 to 700 . It is the solid oxide
electrolyte composed of cerium oxide. The research group confirmed the
improvement of the ionic conductivity by controlling the micro-domain composed
of 10 ` 50 atoms at 1
nanometer level, far smaller than existing.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 20, 2003 )
3. Development of Basic Technologies for PEMFC
(1) Nagoya Institute of
professor Toshihiro Kasuga, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya Institute of
Technology developed the electrolyte membrane for PEMFC using the technology to
make hydro-gel state of phosphate glass. It indicates higher proton conductivity than conventional solid polymer
electrolyte and confirmed electric power output of 0.4 W/cm2 in
their experiment. Moreover, the operating temperature range is a wide from 130
to -20 and it can be stuck to meet with various forms, or make a thinner or
larger membrane because it is in a gel state and it can be manufactured at the
cost of 1/1000 in comparison with conventional method.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 24, 2003 )
(2) Ballard Power Systems Inc.
BPS made a policy
to license FC technologies to other enterprises. Although they did not license
in order to prevent a outflow of technology or know-how, they changed their
policy to expand FC market by giving technology license to other companies who
want to use the technologies and to make up development budget by the license
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 24, 2003 )
(3) Ishifuku Metal Industry
Industry developed the platinum
catalyst dispersed at nano level for PEMFC or DMFC. Average particle size of the catalyst is 2-3 nm
in diameter and they sell the catalyst to energy related industries for
research and development purposes.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 27, 2003 )
(4) Sumitomo Metal Industries,
Industries announced that they developed new stainless steel plate for
separator of PEMFC and could obtain the prospect for the mass production. Their
Central Research InstituteiAmagasaki cityjhas proceeded with research and development since
about four years ago under cooperation with Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
( Asahi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai
Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 29, 2003 )
4. Demonstration and Commercialization of PEMFC
Cogeneration System for Home Use
(1) Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Gas Co.,
Ltd. decided to introduce a new contract type which discounts a gas charge for
all homes who will use PEMFC from April in 2005 when they will put PEMFC unit
of 1KW class for home use on market. The price down of the gas is estimated to
be bigger than that by "Danran- plan" which has been applied for the
contract type used for the present floor heating system by hot water at home.
( Denki Shimbun October 23, 2003 )
(2) Toho Gas Co., Ltd.
Toho Gas Co.,
Ltd. announced on October 30, 2003 that they developed independently the
optimal output control technology for 1KW class PEMFC cogeneration system for
home use, and started the demonstration test at ordinary homes. The optimal
output control has a role which make the system work the most efficiently,
corresponding to various load pattern for the season in a year, the time in a
day and the difference at each home. They are aiming at the commercialization
( Denki Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo
Shimbun October 31,2003 )
5. The Front of FCV
Tokyo Motor Show
Motor companies exhibited each FCV with originality in The 37th
Tokyo Motor Show 2003 held from October 25, 2003 at Makuhari Messe, exhibition
center. Toyota Motor Corporation reserved a broad space inside the FCV, gFine-Nh
by arranging electric motor and hydrogen tank under the seat and adopted gBy
Wireh technology to conduct the optimum control by electrical signal, for
motors each installed with four wheels, steering wheel and brake. They make it
up as the future car by providing an automatic recognition system which can
recognize face and seating position of driver and also an organism recognition
system to be able to sense sound and having automatic control function for air
conditioning. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. exhibited FCV, gKIWAMIh with Japanse
decoration which is an unique in design and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. exhibited a
compact FCV, gEFFISh.
( Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo
Shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun October 23,
(2) YUASA Co., Ltd.
YUASA publicly opened on October 22, 2003 that they have
developed DMFC cell stack for motor bicycle under cooperation with Yamaha Motor
Co., Ltd. Output power of the trial product is 500 W and the size is 20.8 cm in
width, 26cm in depth and 13.4 cm in height.
( Denpa Shimbun October 23, 2003, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, The Chemical
Daily October 24, 2003 )
(3) Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan decided a policy to start lease business of FCV from the
end of March 2004 in domestic market. They have been studying the lease charge
in the range from 800 to 1200 thousands yen per month. The first FCV will be
with stack made by UTC though they have a plan to use 3 kinds of stacks such as
UTC, Ballard Power Systems, Inc. and Nissan.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 27, 2003 )
(4) CHINA FAW GROUP CORPORATION (FAW)
CEO of FAW, the largest motor company in China announced that
they introduce technologies on FCV from Toyota. gEnvironmental issue is very
important even in China and they have been studying how to tackle with FCV
under cooperation with Toyotah, he said.
Kogyo Shimbun October 27, 2003 j
6. Technology on Hydrogen Station and the Verification
JFE Container Co., Ltd. (JFEC) announced on October 24, 2003
that they participated in an international project as the first Japanese
company, to verify infrastructure of high pressure hydrogen supply for FCV which
have been promoted by companies and governments in Canada, England, USA and
Holland. This project (CH2IP) is to conduct a series of system tests and to
establish the storing and transportation systems including construction of 70
MPa hydrogen gas charging station which make possible to drive 500 km by one
charge. The purposes are to provide collected data to participants and to aim
at international standardization on the infrastructure system.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Denki Shimbun, Nikan Kogyo Shimbun,
Tekko Shimbun October 27, 2003 )
(2) Kurita Water Industries, Ltd.
3 companies, Kurita, Shinanen Co., Ltd. and Itochu Enex Co.,
Ltd. announced that they will start
construction of Sagami Hydrogen Station for FCV under JHFC project. The unit is
a compact transportable water electrolysis type loaded on truck and supply
hydrogen to plural hydrogen stations by moving to each site. The purpose is
on-site supply. The investment cost to the station in Sagamihara city is 300
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, Nihon Kogyo Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo
Shimbun October 28, 2003 )
(3) Osaka Prefecture
gOsaka FCV Promotion Committeeh established in September this
year by Osaka prefectural government, companies and others, took place an
opening ceremony of transportable hydrogen station on October 30, 2003, by
parking the station in No.1 Parking Lot of Osaka Prefectural Government in
Chuo-ku, Osaka. The station has a capability to charge hydrogen into 2 FCV.
This station has been fabricated by Iwatani International Corporation.
Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, Nihhon Kogyo Shimbun October 31, 2003 )
7. Reforming and Hydrogen Production Technology
(1) Tokyo University of Science
Tokyo University of Science developed a photo catalyst to produce hydrogen by
cracking water with irradiation of ultraviolet. The catalyst is particles made
of sodium and titanium oxide added lanthanum and the particles are 100 nm to 3Êm in diameter and their contact surface with
water are increased by making the shape of complicated stepped configuration.
Hydrogen of 500mL/h could be produced from water by irradiation of ultraviolet
using 400W mercury lamp.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun Oct.20, 2003 )
(2) National Institute for
Institute for Environment Studies will start the development of hydrogen
production technology with biomass and ocean wind power generation. On ghydrogen
production technology development from bio resources and wasteh, they will develop
the technology to produce hydrogen efficiently by pyrolysis and microbe,
utilizing raw materials such as waste wood, used paper, waste plastics, and
will study establishment of a self-sufficient locally distributed energy
system. Although the hydrogen production
technology is electrolysis of sea water using electricity generated by wind
power in case of ghydrogen production technology development with ocean wind
power generationh, the development of large floating structure is included, on
which wind power generator is installed. The budgets, \6 billion in 2003 and
\13 billion in 2004 have been requested.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 30, 2003 )
(3) F.C.C Co., Ltd.
F.C.C Co., LTD. announced
that they started research of gporous fiber catalyst seath which is seat state catalyst
to reform methanol taken out of waste into hydrogen, under cooperation with
Assistant Professor Kitaoka, Kyushu University. They plan to complete a proto
type hydrogen production unit with the seat catalyst by August in 2006.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 30, 2003 )
(4) MITUBISHI KAKOKI KAISHA, LTD.
KAISHA, LTD. will expand the business activity on hydrogen production
facilities, especially will arrange the organization for sales promotion aimed
at hydrogen station. They received orders of the units for hydrogen stations in
Asahi-ku, Yokohama and Senju, Tokyo, built in a link of JHFC project.
( The Chemical Daily October 31, 2003 )
(5) UCHIYA THERMOSTAT Co., Ltd.
Co., Ltd. developed hydrogen production unit for FC loaded on vehicle, to
generate hydrogen by adding water to 20nm sized iron and platinum catalyst
powder, under cooperation with Professor Otsuka, Tokyo Institute of Technology.
They fabricated a proto type unit for motor scooter, which weight is 2 kg.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 31, 2003 )
8. Current Status on Development of DMFC and Micro FC
for Mobile Apparatus
In order to
standardize regulations on micro FC for note type personal computer and mobile
phone, the electrical manufacturers such as Hitachi, Ltd., Toshiba Corporation
and NEC Corporation, organize gMicro FC Standardization Committeeh in The Japan Electrical Manufacturesf
Association (JEMA) in mid October, and the committee will make standards within
3 years. 16 companies including leading electrical manufactures and 6 related
industrial associations participate to the committee and promote the
popularization of FC for personal computer and mobile apparatus, by
establishing standards for connecting method of methanol fuel cartridge and for
basic performance such as the output and fuel consumption of FC, as well as the
testing methods for them.
( Nihon Keizai Shimbun October 20, 2003 )
(2) National Institute of
Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
AIST announced on
October 22, 2003 that they developed the technology to utilize a porous glass
for electrolyte of DMFC to be used for mobile apparatus. Comparing with
existing fluorine electrolyte membrane, power generating efficiency can be
increased and high density methanol can be used. The porous glass has
innumerable nm size holes and hydrogen ion only can permeate. They reported
that the maximum output is increased to about 1.5 times at the same conditions,
in comparison with conventional fluorine membrane.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 23, 2003, The Chemical Daily October 24, 2003 )
for Green Life Technology, AIST confirmed the cell voltage of 0.35 V at power
generating test of DMFC utilizing porous glass electrolyte membrane. This
electrolyte membrane has fine holes of 4 nm in mean diameter, filled with
conductive organic molecules and it is 0.5 nm in thickness and MEA structure
arranged electrodes on the both side, the one with platinum ruthenium catalyst
(anode) and the other with platinum catalyst (cathode). Charging 64 weight %
methanol solution and oxygen, 0.35 V was observed at current density of 10mA/cm2.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 27, 2003 )
(3) Tokyo Institute of Technology
Research team of
Professor Hatsuzawa and Assistant Hayase, Tokyo Institute of Technology,
developed the technology to make electrode plate of DMFC for mobile apparatus,
from silicon wafer of 100 Êm thickness. As the semiconductor machining technology can be
diverted to, the efficient production is feasible and the fuel path can be made
by etching the surface.
( Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun October 28, 2003 )
9. Development and Sales of Measurement Device for FC
FIS Inc. (Itami
City) developed a gas sensor for FC and will start full delivery soon. These
are hydrogen leakage detector and methane sensor for reformed gas, and the
features are high selectivity and can use for high concentrated gas. The
hydrogen sensor has detection range for hydrogen concentration from 0.1 % to
2.0 %. Already the sensor itself has been delivering to North America and the
module assembled with power circuit and data processing circuit, making the
sensor as a core, will be supplied in the near future and the price reduction
is planed to 500 yen/piece.
( Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun October 27, 2003 )